"He’s a legit player for us, and he’s right in the middle of all our planning and all of our preparation," Carroll said. "You have to deal with him in our offense. He’s going to be moved around to a lot. He'll be in a lot of different spots. He can do everything. We’re really pumped about him coming back. He looks so confident, which he always has. We had to make him prove it a little bit. But once we got a hold of the kind of dynamic player that he is, we used the heck out of him, and he’s going to get a lot of play time, a lot of stuff happening his way. Really helps Doug [Baldwin], really helps [Jermaine] Kearse. Those guys are great complements."
One of the things Lockett has focused on this offseason is beating press coverage. Some pegged Lockett, at 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, exclusively as a slot receiver coming out of college. But according to ESPN Stats & Information, he lined up outside on 65.6 percent of his routes last season. And 63 percent of Lockett's receiving yards came when he set up out wide.
"The biggest thing is I’ve been going against Richard about 95 percent of the camp, and he’s just made me a better player," Lockett said. "Going against Richard (Sherman), I’ve got to be able to move him and get him off at the line, and I can’t use the same stuff every time because he’s a smart defender, so I’ve got to switch some things up.
"And if things don’t work, at least it doesn’t work in practice against him. If it does work, he’ll let me know and be like, ‘Hey, that was a good release. That really does work.’ And it just makes it easier for me to go against anybody else, especially on other teams, after I go up against the best DB in the league."
As a rookie, Lockett owned the #5 fantasy points per target (FP/T) in standard formats (#3 in PPR), and he plays in a historically efficient passing offense. The only issue is volume. Lockett saw just 69 targets in 2015, but averaged 5.4 T/G (and 57.1 yards) over the final nine games of the season, including the playoffs. That’s an 86-target (and a 913-yard) pace, so if he’s able to maintain his 1.48 FP/T, it would yield 128 fantasy points, which is about what Rueben Randle scored as the #28 WR last year. If Lockett is going to crack the top 20, he’ll need to see 6.0+ T/G. The good news is that Russell Wilson has increased his pass attempts in each of the last three seasons, and with Marshawn Lynch retired, it sounds as if there will be more opportunity in the passing game for Lockett.